Originally published in Twin Magazine.
Nicky Deeley plunders her deepest subconscious to tease characters from her imagination and dreams. The mythical identities in her work personify archetypes that she sees as living within the collective unconscious. “The language of our unconscious is something that we dismiss far too readily,” says Deeley. “I find it really strange that we do that. It’s a language through which your brain is trying to communicate, and a channel to understanding more about ourselves.”
Her 2013 artwork Island Year was a marathon month-long performance piece inspired by a child’s naïve curiosity. “I was reading a science column in a national newspaper in which children send in questions and experts respond. Because the children are really young, they ask the most beautiful, poetic things. My favourite was a young boy who wanted to know what was underneath an island—did it float?”
For the work Deeley created an enclosed community of five eccentric characters who repeat ritualistic movements around a constructed space. Incorporating elements of folklore, ancient ceremonies and tribal rituals, she generated a tension between the known and the imagined, leaving her audience teetering on the brink of fascination and repulsion.
For the coming summer Deeley is taking her artwork outside, with an immersive experiential event taking place in a village in Ireland. This artwork is mythology in the making.
For more from Nicky Deeley see www.nickydeeley.com.